By bus or “colt”. Two hours from Semarang. The best way to get around town is to talk or take a becak.
Top of the line is the Hotel Nirwana, near the bus terminal, with air conditioned rooms for US$25 to US$35 a night, and a large new swimming pool. More conveniently located is the Hayam Wuruk right on the main street, with air conditioned double rooms for only US$15 to US$20 including breakfast. The Hayam Wuruk also has pleasant double rooms with a fan for US$10.50, single for US$8 – breakfast, tax and service including. Cheaper accommodation across from the train station at the western edge of town include the Istana, the Gajah Mada and the Ramayana.
Istana Hotel (48 rooms), Jl. Gajah Mada 23 – 25, Pekalongan.
Gajah Mada, Jl. Gajah Mada 11A, Pekalongan.
Hayam Wuruk (56 rooms), Jl. Hayam Wuruk 152 – 158, Pekalongan.
Nirwana Hotel (63 rooms), Jl. Dr. Wahidin 11, Pekalongan.
Ramayana, Jl. Gajah Mada 9, Pekalongan.
Your best bet here is Chinese food at the Remaja (Jl. Dr. Cipto 20, Tel: 21019), or the Serba Ada (Jl. Hayam Wuruk 125). For breads, ice cream and snack, try the Purimas bakery on Jl. Hayam Wuruk. There is also a cafetaria next to the alun – alun.
Besides the several shops on Jl. Hayam Wuruk and Jl. Hasanuddin where fabrics is sold, seek out individual batik makers.
Tobal Batik at Jl. Teratai 24, Klego, (Tel: 61885) specialises in export clothing – many of the batik sundresses and shirts you see in boutiques in California and Australia are drawn, dyed and swen here. while they produce to order for wholesale cutomers and do not normally sell individual pieces, they often have overstocks of certain items that they are happy to sell to casual visitors.
Ahmad Yahya (Jl. Pesindon 221, Tel: 41413 – enter the small lane near the bridge on Jl. Hayam Wuruk, next to the Sederhana Restaurant). His fabrics have been selling in New York for many years, and have been used to decorate Jackie Onassi’s bathroom and Farrah Fawcett’s bedroom.
Ahmad Said at Jl. Bandung 53 is another producer well known to foreigners, producing bold, brightly coloured cap fabrics under the “Zaky” label.
Salim Alaydras (Jl. H. Agus Salim 31, Tel: 41175) produces and sell some floral piece goods and has antique fabrics for sale.
For higher quality, hand drawn tulis work, visit Jane Hendromartono at Jl. Blimbing 36 (Tel: 1003). Her superb work is in the permanent collection of the Textile Museum in Washington D.C. as well as in many private collections around the world. She generally has a variety of original sarung and kain pieces ranging in price from US$25 up to US$100, as well as some Chinese altar cloths done in batik and several types of less expensive batik cap.
Perhaps Pekalongan’s most famous batik artist is Oey Soe Tjoen, who bought over and continued many of the designs of the great Eliza Van Zuylen, an Indo – Dutch woman whose rare batik, produced in the 1920s and 1930s, now fetch thousands of dollars from avid collectors in Holland and New York. Oey Soe Tjoen’s wife and son now continue the business at their home and workshop in Kedungwuni, 9 km to the south of Pekalongan (Jl. Raya 104, Kedungwuni, located just about 200 metres before the police station on the left).
–> Read Also : Accommodation and Dining of Semarang